Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men's Healing Work: An Anthology for Therapists and Others

By Edward Read Barton | Go to book overview

truly human in masculine form by accessing and fulfilling the archetypal blue- prints within us. Object relations theory, on the other hand, assumes that the internal objects are socially and interpersonally derived. They are not "hardwired" but "software." The impulse that drives personality development is not libido but our need for relationships.

Whether accessing innate archetypal patterns, as in Jungian thought, or integrating split-off socially defined internal objects, we are nonetheless co-creating new ways of being men. Deep in the heart of many men who participate in mythopoetic men's activities is the conviction that the ultimate product of masculine initiation will be a changed world. It is no longer acceptable for men (or women) to rampantly consume the earth, women, children, and other men. Men may seek healing from their own wounds, but in the end, an initiated man returns to his community as a man of service. He possesses recovered treasure destined to heal and nurture his family of whatever construction, his community and the world.


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Somé M. ( 1994). Of water and the spirit: Ritual, magic, and initiation in the life of an African shaman. New York: A. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam Book.

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